Make sure you have an updated emergency bag (a.k.a. Household Disaster Kit). I had one from ten years ago, and when I pulled it out last year many of the items were no longer working or had expired. Make sure to store your Household Disaster Kit in an easily accessible location, and put contents in a large, watertight container that can be easily moved. Be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least three days.
Here’s a list of what to pack courtesy of Zippo:
- Water (one gallon per person per day)
- Food (ready to eat or requiring minimal water)
- First Aid Kit and any special needs items for children, seniors or people with disabilities
- Several reliable sources of fire
- Manual can opener and other cooking supplies
- Plates, utensils and other eating supplies
- A copy of important documents and phone numbers
- Warm clothes and rain gear for each family member
- Heavy work gloves
- Disposable camera
- Unscented liquid household bleach and an eyedropper for water purification
- Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies, hand sanitizer and soap
- Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering broken windows
- Tools such as a crowbar, hammer and nails, staple gun, adjustable wrench and bungee cords
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- Large heavy-duty plastic bags to line a plastic bucket for waste and sanitation
- Water and supplies for pets
- Batteries & flashlights
For sources of fire, Zippo, the lighter company which now also makes survival items, offers products like a no-flame Emergency Fire Starter Kit, Cedar FireStarters and Hand Warmers.
The Emergency Fire Starter is especially cool because it doesn’t rely on a flame to start a fire (it's not a lighter). Instead it uses a flint wheel to spark water-resistant, waxed tinder sticks. It can start a fire almost instantly, something that could make the difference between life and death.
Watch this video on how the Emergency Fire Starter works:
How to Enter the Giveaway
One lucky reader will win a Zippo Emergency Fire Starter. To enter, please complete the entry form below. The winning entry will be verified, and if not valid then a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway ends at midnight on 10/17/12. Please see terms and conditions in the entry form for additional information.
For more information on Zippo, please visit www.zippooutdoor.com.
Disclosure: I received a sample of the Zippo Emergency Fire Starter and tinder sticks to assess for the purpose of this post. All opinions expressed are solely and independently my own.